A moratorium on the extraction of sand and gravel mixtures was established.
20.
01. 2024
11:15
1421
News

An indefinite moratorium on the extraction of non-metallic materials in the beds of the Chirchik, Sanzar, Zerafshan, Naryn, Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya rivers has been established. This is stated in the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan "On measures to streamline the extraction of non-metallic materials in water bodies ".

According to the document, extraction of sand and gravel from river beds, coastal areas, and water protection zones will be carried out only through the electronic trading platform "E-auction".

During the moratorium period, the fine for damage caused to nature as a result of illegal extraction of sand and gravel mixtures from river beds, coastal areas, and water protection zones will be increased by 10 times. It is also planned to establish a penalty in the form of confiscation of the object of the offense itself as one of the punitive measures.

The Ministry of Ecology together with the State Institution "Safe River", the Inspectorate for Environmental Control and the Inspectorate for Control of Mining, Geological and Industrial Safety will control the extraction of sand and gravel mixtures from riverbeds, conduct regular raids, and take action against offenders.                                                                      

As a result, illegally issued licenses were revoked. Special importance is also attached to the unhindered creation of new mines, which will stop the price of sand and gravel from rising.                                                                                     

It should be noted that the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change is currently implementing several measures aimed at systematically addressing existing environmental problems. In particular, changes have been made in the sphere of waste management, which resulted in the adoption of the Decree of the Head of State aimed at reducing the negative impact of waste on the environmental situation.

By the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan dated May 31, 2023, the State Institution "Safe River" was transferred to the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change, after which several changes were implemented in the sphere of riverbed protection. In particular, a working group headed by the Minister of Ecology Aziz Abdukhakimov visited the rivers Zarafshan, Syr Darya, Chirchik and studied the existing environmental situation. Using a drone and other technical means, images were recorded and problems were analyzed in detail.

According to the available data, in 2019–2022, 103 business entities were engaged in cleaning the Chirchik river bed and the extraction of sand and gravel materials, while at present, 40 entities are engaged in this activity. In Tashkent province and the city of Tashkent, economic entities are engaged in the extraction of sand and gravel materials. This, in turn, indicates that the number of people engaged in the cleaning and extraction of sand and gravel materials in the Chirchik River has decreased by 61.5 %.                                                                                                    

It should be mentioned that in 2023, the Ministry of Ecology, based on the appeals of the Minister of Ecology, filed lawsuits in court to cancel the licenses of 12 economic entities engaged in mining.

In addition, contracts concluded with three economic entities were cancelled due to non-compliance with the requirements established by the State Institution "Safe River" for cleaning the bed of the Chirchik River and the extraction of sand and gravel materials.

As a result of the control measures taken by the Ministry, 268 people were prosecuted in 303 cases of illegal extraction of sand and gravel from riverbeds throughout the country for 68 billion sums, and the Prosecutor's Office initiated criminal proceedings in 42 cases of damage to the natural environment for 45 billion sums.

Useful resources